Platelet Rich Plasma Injections the Their Health Benefits
The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a portion of the patient’s own blood having a platelet concentration above baseline, to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints, can be applied to various musculoskeletal problems. Researchers theorize that by injecting areas of inflammation or tissue damage with high concentrations of platelets, it can encourage wounds to heal naturally and more effectively. Here at the Pain Relief Institute we proudly offer PRP injection therapy to our patients.
PRP injections are prepared from one to a few tubes of the patient’s own blood with strict aseptic technique. After being centrifuged, the activated platelets are injected into the abnormal tissue, releasing growth factors that recruit and increase the proliferation of reparative cells. This process separates platelets from other blood components. The concentration of platelets is then injected into the area of the person’s body that needs to be treated.
Several clinical studies have demonstrated that PRP injections have improved function and decreased pain to various maladies, including – but not limited to – elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle tendinitis. Early work is also showing promise for osteoarthritis.
The side effects of PRP injections are very limited as the patient is utilizing their own blood, which they should have no reaction to. Some relative rest is needed immediately following the procedure, then usually followed by a progressive stretching and strengthening the program.
Why Choose PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Injections?
There are several reasons why osteoarthritis patients might consider platelet-rich plasma injections:
- Platelet-rich plasma is autologous, meaning it comes from the patient’s body, so it is natural and the injections carry few risks.
- Other treatments for mild to moderate osteoarthritis can be unreliable or vary from person to person, and some have side effects or drawbacks:
- Physical therapy and/or weight loss can often improve but not always eliminate symptoms.
- Cortisone injections are proven to reduce osteoarthritis pain, but repeated injections can weaken ligaments and tendons over time, and may have a detrimental effect on healthy cartilage.26,27
- Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain, but long-term use can aggravate stomach problems, blood pressure and heart problems.
- Minor surgeries to treat osteoarthritis, such as arthroscopic debridement, have mixed results, and may be no better than placebo.28,29
- Joint replacement surgeries are major surgeries that require long-term rehabilitation, and should be reserved for more debilitating cases of arthritis
Who Is Good Candidate For PRP Injection Therapy?
You may be a good candidate for PRP if your symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee are not manageable through conventional methods such as anti-inflammatory, cortisone injections, and physical therapy.